Toward greater understanding of depression in deaf individuals

Am Ann Deaf. 1989 Oct;134(4):249-54. doi: 10.1353/aad.2012.0662.


We compared the prevalence of depressive symptoms among deaf and hearing college students and examined the relationships among depressive symptoms, personality characteristics, and perceived parental attitudes and behaviors in these two groups. Measures were revised to meet the language needs of the deaf subjects. Mild levels of depressive symptoms were more prevalent in the deaf than in the hearing students, but more severe depression was not. In both groups, depressive symptoms were associated with perceptions of lower maternal care and higher maternal over-protection. Deaf and hearing subjects did not differ on these perceived maternal characteristics. Depressive symptoms were associated with socially dependent personality characteristics in the hearing sample only. We discuss the implications of the findings for the role of personality development in depression in deaf individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Deafness / psychology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Personality Development